A 43-year-old man was caught smuggling a snake in his pants on Christmas Eve at Berlin-Schönefeld Airport, Potsdam Customs said in a release Monday.
Security noticed the man had “something in his trousers that didn’t belong there,” Potsdam Customs said. They called it the “most curious find of 2018.”
The man was trying to fly to Israel.
When asked to reveal what he was hiding, the man took out a small cloth bag with a live snake about 40cm in length.
Snakes are protected under the Washington Convention on the Protection of Cities (CITES) and their import and export to and from the European Union is regulated. Such activity requires prior written approval of a species protection authority of an EU member state. The man was unable to provide supporting documents and, therefore, the snake was confiscated and taken to an animal rescue station in Brandenburg.
The man awaits fines proceedings.
The incident on Christmas Eve is far from the first time airport security has discovered curious finds from individuals travelling through Germany. In April 2018, security at Hamburg Airport confiscated 21 endangered leeches from a 63-year old woman travelling to Turkey. She claimed they were to treat her knee pain. In September 2018, a man flew from Dusseldorf to Moscow with 20 snakes in hand luggage.